Chauvin will now face charges of second-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter, both of which carry much heavier penalties than the third-degree charge.
KARE Minneapolis reports that all four defendants in the Floyd case — Chauvin, Tou Thao, Thomas Lane, and J. Alexander Kueng — petitioned for the judge to dismiss their charges, but the judge in the matter ruled against all but one of the petitions — the petition to drop the third-degree murder charge leveled against Chauvin. The other three officers are still charged with “aiding and abetting” a second-degree murder.
Thursday morning’s decision is expected to be the first in a flurry of decisions outlining how Chauvin’s and the other officers’ trials will proceed. All four officers moved not just to have their charges dropped but for a change of venue, arguing that, because of the national attention associated with the Floyd case, they cannot get a fair trial in Minneapolis.